Featured PSI Member: Carla Pileggi Caviola

Featured PSI Member: Carla Pileggi Caviola
Licensed professional counselor (LPC) in CT
Licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in NY

Tell us a little about yourself outside of your work.
I am Brazilian and Canadian and have had the joy of growing up in multicultural settings, meeting people and friends from all over the world. My personal life experience has shaped me and sparked a passion in knowing more about different people, cultures and travel. I have lived in Brazil, Canada and the USA. I currently reside in Stamford, Connecticut with my husband and three girls: age 2, 5 and 7. A few months ago, we surprised the girls and adopted a puppy! As you can imagine, life is very full in a good way! 

What sparked your interest in maternal mental health? Is there anything you’d like to share about your path?
My first pregnancy ended in an unexpected miscarriage. It was devastating and sad. My husband and I needed to grieve the loss of our baby and the dreams of life with the baby. After I delivered my first daughter, I experienced postpartum stress due to breastfeeding complications: mastitis, thrush, a pumping regiment and the concern “is my baby gaining enough weight.” I also had scary intrusive thoughts of my baby flying across the room like an American football. I was disturbed by the images, but I knew I had no thoughts of harming my baby. I knew I wanted her to be safe and I knew these thoughts did not represent myself or my character. I spoke to my husband about it and our course of action was prayer. I did not accept the images as being truth, my character, God or anything good. During this time, I joined a new mothers group. I heard other moms sharing their stories and challenges briefly. It was then that I had an inner sense that hit me hard: this is what I am called to do. So I searched and found continuing education and soon after I found PSI. I immediately took the PSI 2 day training and since have taken other PMAD trainings over the years. I also connected with a few colleagues in Connecticut in 2013 and we started a working group and coalition. Some years later, we then affiliated and created PSI – Connecticut Chapter as Founding Board Members. 

Tell us about your work.
I work in private practice and my office is in Stamford, CT.  As a professional counselor, I am licensed in Connecticut (LPC) and New York (LMHC). I provide face to face psychotherapy sessions as well as phone sessions upon request. In addition to my clinical practice, I offer clinical supervision, consultation and trainings. 

Although I am a general psychotherapist, I have specialized in Perinatal Mental Health for 7 years.  As a Perinatal Mental Health Specialist, I provide prevention, treatment and support for women and families in Connecticut and New York. This includes symptom relief, individual psychotherapy for women, pregnant and postpartum women, marriage/couples sessions as well as parent-baby work focusing on attachment. 

I also provide culturally sensitive psychotherapy in English, Spanish and Portuguese languages. In addition, I work with people of all faith backgrounds, however I am also specialized in integrating a Christian psycho-spiritual approach in counseling.  This is an option if the client chooses, which integrates viewing the whole client, healing, growth and life through a clinical and spiritual lens. 

I am a Founding Board Member of PSI – Connecticut Chapter, a PSI-CT Fairfield County Co-Regional Representative, as well as a PSI-CT Professional Development Committee Member. I am a MONA and International Marcé Society Member. 

How has PSI membership been beneficial to you and your career?
Before we became PSI-CT, a few of us (providers/volunteers) became a working group and formed a coalition in our state. After some years, we decided to affiliate with PSI and create a CT chapter, as we were all on the same mission. 

 PSI has been great for receiving clinical trainings as well as helping me connect with other providers and volunteers. I truly believe we can have more impact when we link arms and build more services locally and globally for women, infants, parents and families.

 Anything else you’d like to share?
I am happy to help increase PSI – Brasil, locally and beyond.